(Left to right: Edwin Coe LLP’s David Greene, Senior Partner, Alexandre Terrasse, Partner and Head of French Inward Investment, and Nicolas de Villiers, President, Puy du Fou)
Edwin Coe LLP assisted Puy du Fou – France’s second biggest theme park – to welcome home the medieval ring, formerly owned by Joan of Arc.
The medieval artefact was acquired by Puy du Fou, with the help of Edwin Coe, at auction on Friday 26 February 2016 for £297,600.
Dated and authenticated by experts at Timeline Auctions, the ring was given to Joan as a child by her parents and worn throughout her life.
During her trial in 1431, the ring was symbolically confiscated by the English and remained on British soil until Friday 4 March, when it was brought back to France.
Nicolas de Villiers, President, Puy du Fou said: “Within days of hearing that this ring was up for auction, we swiftly assembled a group of donors who contributed anywhere between ten and tens of thousands of euros. Clearly, many people share our passion for returning this object to its homeland, and we participated in a close bidding war with American and British collectors. We are delighted to have acquired this jewel of French history.”
The ring’s return will be celebrated at a ceremony that is open to all, on 20 March 2016 at 14:00, in the courtyard of the Puy du Fou castle, France. It will then be placed on permanent display.
Puy du Fou uniquely brings history to life through a variety of shows based around historical events, and is committed to showcasing extraordinary artistic creativity and creating an unforgettable experience.
Alexandre Terrasse, Partner and Head of French Inward Investment, Edwin Coe LLP states: “I am delighted to have been able to assist Puy du Fou, a long-standing client, with the purchase of this emblematic ring. For all at Edwin Coe the ring represents more than a significant piece of history; it is also a symbol of the strong links which exist between the UK and France, and which are very much part of what we seek to offer our clients at Edwin Coe – a seamless international service offering the best of French and British legal expertise.”
The history of the ring
The 600-year old artefact was removed from Joan’s hand by Bishop Cauchon, who presided over the initial trial. Joan demanded in vain that he return the ring.
It was then given to the English Cardinal Henry Beaufort who oversaw all successive sessions of the trial through to Joan’s execution.
The ring was then passed down through the generations by King Henry VII of England. It left the aristocracy in 1914, when sold by the spouse of Ottoline Morreli, Augustus John. Over the course of the twentieth century, the ring was resold several times, but remained on British soil.
The ring corresponds exactly with the description recorded in the minutes of the trial, given by Joan of Arc herself. It contains an inscription of Jhesus Maria and three crosses.
About Edwin Coe
Edwin Coe LLP is a commercial law firm based in the heart of London’s historic legal district in Lincoln’s Inn. Founded in 1913, we have grown from our litigation origins to become a thriving and dynamic practice, providing a comprehensive range of legal services to meet the needs of a wide variety of businesses, individuals and organisations based throughout the UK and overseas.
The firm consists of 33 partners and is ranked at 109 in the latest edition of the top ‘UK 200’ law firms, providing legal services to an international and UK client base which includes public and private companies, multinationals, charities and not-for-profit organisations, as well as private clients. We are a traditional, high-quality law firm providing a personalised and integrated service across a wide range of commercial practice areas.
Tanya Byrne – Head of Business Development & Marketing
t: 020 7691 4173
About Puy du Fou
Created in 1978, Puy du Fou is a theme park like no other. Crowned world’s best park in March 2012 in Los Angeles (Thea Classic Award) and once again in November 2014 in Orlando (Applause Award), it was also voted France’s favourite park following an IFOP survey in June 2013 for the third year running. Today it is the second largest theme park in France with 2,054,000 visitors in 2015. The Puy du Fou is a group mainly composed of an association under the French Law of 1901 and a Simplified Joint Stock Company. The association organises the Cinéscénie show with 3,650 volunteers and holds the Simplified Joint Stock Company which manages the Grand Parc (60 daytime and evening shows, 4 period villages, 25 restaurants and 4 themed hotels). Both structures contribute to financing the Junior Academy with its 26 schools, which train over 600 young people every year in performing arts and techniques. With Puy du Fou International, the park spreads its expertise all over the world by advising project leaders in creating parks and shows based on the Puy du Fou model. Since its creation, Puy du Fou has enjoyed an annual growth of 10% in all its activities (the Grand Parc and the Cinéscénie).
t: 020 7557 4333
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